Saturday, May 16, 2009

On Set!

Today: more teevee commercial, this time on location in White River State Park. I really like this kind of work. I'm normally a one-man show; I do all the everything technical by myself. So I enjoy a chance to be part of a team of experts. And, a film crew is a team of experts whose jobs I couldn't do. When I load in a set at a theater, I'm part of a big crew, but I'm an interchangeable part. I could easily step into any position on the crew, from carpenter to rigger to audio to lighting. But a film crew is packed with specialized jobs that are outside my area of expertise. So it's always educational; every time I do this kind of work, I walk away knowing more than when I started.

It's also rare, and nice, for me to be a part of such an efficient machine. Everybody has their job, and everybody is aware that everybody else is an expert at what they do. There's no second-guessing, nobody peeking over your shoulder. You just do what you're good at. The trade-off is that you have to be competent and you have to pay attention; everyone's expecting it from you, and nobody's looking over your shoulder to make sure you're doing what you should be. I hustle and work hard on this kind of call, because I don't want my part of the machine to be the one making the grinding noises.

Also, video pays well. I worked two short-ish days (actually very long days, but only because I coupled the video work with full workdays at my real job), and got paid enough that even after taxes I could afford a low-end netbook. I'm not buying one, of course; I'm paying off part of last year's tax debt. Still, the money's good, even if it doesn't get to go directly to the Shiny Tech Toy fund....

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